Dynamics of Reciprocity and Networks of the Kyrgyz through Bishkek Toi Making

In: Central Asian Affairs

Important life-cycle events in Kyrgyz society are marked by the staging of large, informal feasting celebrations, known collectively as toi. This article discusses continuity and change in the materiality and spirituality of toi making, specifically in urban Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan. Organized on a larger scale and with more expenses than elsewhere in the country, Bishkek toi demonstrate material and spiritual reciprocities that are crucial in the reproduction of social solidarity and exclusion, as well as poverty, prestige, and power in the post-socialist context.

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    Reeves, “Black Work, Green Money,” 114.

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    Sahlins, Stone Age Economics, 190.

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